Two friends, Ambrose Merrion, a clerk of the court of Massachusetts, and Danny Hilliard, a rising politician, agree that politics is the way to help society take care of its own. With Merrion shrewdly managing his friend's campaigns, they make an excellent team, managing to revitalize the local economy and to protect the unfortunate snared in the criminal justice system. But trouble starts brewing when Merrion unexpectedly inherits ill-gotten gains from a corrupt predecessor, enabling him to indulge with Danny in the finer luxuries. To Merrion's dismay, Hilliard begins a streak of mischief that quickly flares into an adultery scandal. What was good clean wickedness in 1960 had become a crime in 1996. Now, a righteous, vengeful prosecutor believes he has found an exquisitely ingenious way to put Hilliard in jail, by forcing Merrion to incriminate him.More
"Higgins' large and devoted following will find no unpleasant surprises here. The story unfolds in a nonlinear way; it does so almost entirely through superb dialogue that reveals character in a far more complex and interesting way than does an omniscient narrator....As always, his characters are so real they spare us the task of willingly suspending disbelief." (The New York Times Book Review)"Higgins...has produced his most ambitious, and infuriating, book in years." (Kirkus)
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The listener as eavesdropper